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Who works in the public sector? Evidence from the World Values Survey

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Author Info

  • Sarah Smith
  • Edd Cowley

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Abstract

Earlier single-country studies found a higher level of intrinsic motivation among public sector workers, compared to the private sector. Using data from the World Values Survey, covering 51 countries, we find a tendency for public sector workers to be more intrinsically motivated, but this is not a universal relationship: we also show that the level of government corruption (appropriately instrumented) explains some of the variation across countries. Consistent with earlier studies that find that selection accounts for differential motivation across sectors, we show that intrinsically-motivated workers are less likely to work in the public sector when corruption is higher.

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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2011/wp268.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 11/268.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/268

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Keywords: Intrinsic motivation; public sector; corruption;

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References

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  1. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  2. Toke Aidt & Jayasri Dutta & Vania Sena, 2006. "Governance Regimes, Corruption and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 15_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  3. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert A.J. Dur, 2002. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' Motivation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-050/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 04 Mar 2005.
  4. Cole, Matthew A., 2007. "Corruption, income and the environment: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 637-647, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are government workers more motivated?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-01-04 15:51:00
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2013. "Working for a Good Cause," CESifo Working Paper Series 4227, CESifo Group Munich.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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